For the Love of Flipgrid
Have you tried Flipgrid with your students yet?
Flipgrid is a video platform app that allows students to record responses to teacher-posed questions or topics. As a tool for teaching modern communication skills, Flipgrid is nothing short of brilliant–students can watch and hear themselves, and they’re in complete control–they can re-record themselves as many times as they want before they upload their response to the grid.
I started using Flipgrid this fall by messaging my PreAP English 9 students the code to our first topic about a week before school started: Introduce yourself to the class. Tell me about your family and any pets you have. Because I’m a bit of an animal nut, I also encouraged them to get any pets on camera with them if they could.
At first, only one or two students uploaded videos. Once those responses were visible to the class and kids had models to follow, more and more started popping up on the grid. To my delight, I was introduced to some dogs, some cats, a gecko, and a lizard. Students also quickly found the stickers and emojis available to embellish their profile pictures. These quick intro videos provided me so much individual feedback on students even before Day One of instruction. What’s more, by watching and hearing them beforehand, I already recognized by name a solid chunk of my students as they entered our room on the first day. Awesomeness.
Flipgrid is also solving two obstacles I’ve had with student presentations. For one, having every student give an individual presentation chews up a ton of class time and generally involves a lot of “sit and watch” for the rest of the class. Even when students are engaged and focused, that’s a lot of seat time. Also, varied class sizes at the high school level can mess with scheduling timelines–the class with 20 students finishes their presentations long before the class of 32. By removing the “live” audience, students still deliver their message to the entire class and can still get individual feedback (you control whether kids can respond to each other) without the loss of instructional time.
I’m also excited about the opportunity Flipgrid affords for cross-class collaboration both inside and outside our school–for book talks, research, discussions, etc., this platform expands student audience far beyond the walls of our classroom.
A basic Flipgrid account with one grid and unlimited topics is free for teachers; a $65 upgrade to Flipgrid Classroom allows unlimited grids, allowing teachers to organize their topics. I bit on the Classroom opportunity for the ease of grading and sorting. Currently, I have six separate grids for each class I teach, one for parent communication, and one I plan to use with colleagues as more hop on board.
Waukesha South High School
South Eng. Dept. Blog: https://southreads.blogspot.com/